Grassroots Ideas Archive

McElroy House Story Plants

This was first published in ABOUT the River Valley magazine in partnership with the McElroy House. It’s been a while since we posted here on the BDJ, mostly due to the growing work of the McElroy House. The McElroy House and the Boiled Down Juice share a close relationship; The Boiled Down Juice is an idea
Category: ABOUT the River Valley

Hearths of Courage: Growing Beloved Communities

A few weeks ago near Harrison, Arkansas the KKK hosted a week long training camp. Open to ages sixteen and up, the camp attracted people from around the nation and sought to build “a mighty army” to fight against “racial genocide” and bring about “racial redemption.” This is the same KKK who purchased the large
Category: Arkansas

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

In the last column I discussed the recent publication Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas. I promised a series of columns on that book, and I’ll be picking back up with those in the following weeks. But this week I’d like to call attention to a film that will be available
Category: African American History

Get Involved: Gleaning in Central Arkansas

A few weeks ago we posted about opportunities for gleaning for foodbanks in central Arkansas.  After an initial meeting, small-scale growers and volunteers are coming together to organize a network to produce and harvest locally-grown food for area foodbanks.  In most cases gleaning is something down on large-scale farms. But it can be done on small-scale farms
Category: Arkansas

Medgar Evers, Mississippi Martyr.

The Seed and the Story is a weekly column exploring folklife, oral history, and community in central Arkansas, particularly the Yell County area where the column originates. The column is published in the Post Dispatch and is syndicated in the Courier. You can read previous columns here.  In 1963 civil right activist and NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers
Category: African American

Stories and Movement from Arkansas and Beyond: Blogging for Human Rights Day, Partnership with the Ella Baker Center

Earlier this month the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights put out a call for writers, site administrators, and bloggers around the nation to come together on Monday December 10th, Human Rights Day, for an event they titled “Blogging for Human Rights Day — a one day blog carnival to shed light on human rights abuses and
Category: Arkansas

Friday Video: Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work

Shift Change examines the movement toward democratic, worker-owned businesses from the Mondragón Cooperative Corporation [MCC] in the Basque region of Spain to the recent creation of the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleaveland, Ohio. Produced by Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin, this film explores a different kind of business model, putting communities and human lives above bottom line profits. You can
Category: Community Action

A Study to Strengthen Local Food Systems in the Little Rock Area

There’s a new project underway in Little Rock  helping to identify the underpinnings of a vibrant, healthy and local food system. Engaging a diverse group of stakeholders including civic leaders, institutional leaders, politicians, business leaders, food producers, and consumers, the project will engage in participatory research to learn what exactly the city needs to support
Category: Arkansas

Meeting the Chickens, an update on the McElroy House Garden Book Project

The Seed and the Story is a weekly column exploring folklife, oral history, and community in central Arkansas, particularly the Yell County area where the column originates. The column is published in the Post Dispatch and is syndicated in the Courier and here on the blog.  In past columns I’ve discussed the work at the McElroy House: Organization for
Category: Arkansas

Rural Arts and Culture Map and Interactive Cultural Mapping

A few months ago we posted about the Art of the Rural’s attempt to acquire a Rural Digital Advocacy Grant for their collaborative project, the Rural Arts and Culture Map. They received the grant and last week launched the official version of Rural Arts and Culture Map, a digital, interactive map fueled by public participation. Hosted by
Category: Bioregionalism